Friday, December 1, 2023

Nicol wins final leg of 7-Continent Challenge

A full house at Chelsea Piers
A full house at Chelsea Piers

Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner’s incredible week of playing squash around the world ended on a high in the US on Saturday when they successfully completed the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge.

Nicol won the overall competition 4-3 after outlasting Garner in the seventh and final match 3-2 (11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9) – a contest which, appropriately enough, went the distance.

A big crowd turned out at the Chelsea Piers Club in Stamford, Connecticut to celebrate the end of Nicol and Garner’s whistlestop week of squash matches. The pair began their journey in the Falkland Islands last Saturday (13th April) and since then have played matches in Santiago (Chile), Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, London and now the US in a show of support for squash’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. They covered a distance of 40,000 miles and spent over 70 hours on airplanes along the way.

“We wanted out to show what a global sport squash is and I think we’ve done that,” said Nicol, a former World No.1 in squash. “It’s been the most extraordinary week of our lives and there’s an amazing sense of accomplishment now that we’ve done it. But we can’t wait to get home and sleep in our own beds!”

“We’ve had so much support along the way and that’s really kept us going in the tougher moments,” said Garner. “We’d especially like to thank everyone at the clubs we played at and everyone at the Xodus Group. It’s hard to put in to words how exhausted we are but we’re really elated too. It was a crazy idea and I can’t quite believe that we’ve actually managed to do it.”

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge has been fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha’s Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain.

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